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Wanjigi shares why his siblings hid dad's rare illness from their parents

Jimi Wanjigi speaks on father's rare condition and pain of watching his health deteriorate without ability to save him

Jimi Wanjigi and his mother Mary Wambui Wanjigi during the funeral mass in honour of Maina Wanjigi on July 3, 2024
  • Maina Wanjigi, former MP and minister, died of a rare condition called amyloidosis
  • The disease caused heart failure by affecting the heart with amyloid buildup
  • The family considered a stem cell treatment in the US but doctors advised against it

Billionaire businessman Jimi Wanjigi has revealed that his father, former MP and minister Maina Wanjigi, died of a rare condition diagnosed in September 2023.

Speaking during a mass in honour of the departed veteran civil servant, Wanjigi said that prior to the diagnosis, they had taken him to hospital several times without finding a solution for his health.

Eventually, Dr David Silverstein, a well-known doctor who was also former President Daniel Moi’s physician, disclosed to the family that Maina was suffering from amyloidosis.

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Amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when a protein called amyloid builds up in organs. This amyloid buildup can impair the function of the affected organs.

Organs that may be affected include the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, and digestive tract.

For the late former minister, the condition affected his heart and caused heart failure.

Wanjigi and his siblings sought advice from the doctor on how to proceed. The doctor mentioned a stem cell treatment that was in trial in the United States.

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The treatment would be very expensive and required an assessment to determine if it would be prudent to administer it to Maina at his advanced age. Eventually, doctors advised against it.

“We said money is not an object. We are going to look for the money no matter how much it is. The doctors declined. We pleaded again and said we would indemnify, but the doctors still declined,” Wanjigi explained.

Wanjigi and his siblings found themselves in a difficult situation where they could not save the man who had done everything in his power to ensure they had a decent life. They resolved to protect their parents by not disclosing the dire situation.

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“We as siblings decided that we would not tell him, and we also did not tell our mother. We got our doctor to vow to us that he would not tell her either.

“Since September last year, we have been painfully watching heart failure set in and not being able to do anything for him. It has been a very trying period. He left us last Friday with a smile and positivity. He literally chose the day that he wanted to go,” Wanjigi said.

He added that his father did everything to extend the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, adding value to everybody that crossed his path.

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